how to make aeropress coffee

How to Make AeroPress Coffee: The Perfect At Home Espresso in 5 Easy Step

Find out how to make AeroPress coffee to get the perfect at home espresso, no machine necessary!
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It’s time for take two, coffee lovers!

If you’ve been here before, you may have already come across my guide for How to Make Chemex Coffee. Now, there’s a chance that one sold you on a Chemex for life and you’ve decided to never look back. If that’s the case, I am so happy for you!

But, if you read that guide and thought to yourself, well that’s great and all but pour over just isn’t my thing… Or more likely, now I’m a pretentious coffee snob and I need more ways to express myself… boy do I have just the solution for you! Today I’m gonna walk you through everything you need to know about how to make AeroPress coffee, which is the perfect at home solution for espresso junkies.

If you’ve just decided you want to get into making coffee at home and are considering an AeroPress, or if you’ve already purchased one but have no idea how to use it, this guide for how to make AeroPress coffee will be perfect for you.

Why you should use an AeroPress

The AeroPress is quick, easy, portable, and seriously makes some of the absolutely best coffee you will ever taste.

My best friend (probably the biggest non-barista coffee snob I know) gifted us an AeroPress last Christmas. On the one hand, I was stoked to have yet another way to make coffee. The AeroPress is also super portable – which makes it perfect for traveling: something you definitely cannot say about a bulky glass Chemex.

On the other hand, though, I had no idea how to make AeroPress coffee. I turned to the internet… and was deeply overwhelmed, to say the least. I tried following at least two tutorials, and came out with weak, bitter coffee that tasted thinner than any coffee I’d ever drunk. Ew!

I’m usually extremely intimidated whenever I try to research coffee stuff on the internet. Coffee snobbery is rampant online, and those who take their coffee really seriously get so technical with terms, ratios and methods that it can sometimes end up just being way too much to take in. This was no exception.

how to make aeropress coffee

But never fear. In this house, we make our coffee knowledge accessible.

I am going to hit you with everything I’ve learned about how to make AeroPress coffee, AKA the perfect espresso, in the comfort of my own kitchen. I’ll walk you through the equipment, technique and measurements you need to know to be a complete AeroPress expert.

The beauty of the AeroPress though, as you will quickly find out, is that there are so many variations on the technique that no one can possible claim to have the perfect approach for how to make AeroPress coffee.

It’s entirely up to you how you end up deciding to nail down your daily coffee routine, so really all I or anyone else can do is give you the pointers you need to figure that out!

how to make aeropress coffee

Hold on. Tell me what an AeroPress is, again.

Yeah okay that’s fairly important to know before you learn how to make AeroPress coffee.

The AeroPress is a tiny plastic tube-like contraption that acts sort of like a manual espresso maker. There’s a plunger piece, which creates a seal in the tube and pressurizes the coffee as you push it through the filter.

Full disclosure, the most committed of coffee snobs would argue that Aeropress coffee is not espresso – and like, technically I would agree. However, if we were to put Aeropress on a scale from espresso to pour over, it definitely falls closer to the espresso mark.

The other coffee-making device the AeroPress is often compared to is a French press. AeroPress brewing is technically in the same family as the French press because both use something called full immersion – in other words, you steep the grounds (kinda like tea) before “pressing” out the brewed coffee. This is different from pour overs where the water begins dripping through the filter as soon as you pour.

Prima Coffee is your one-stop shop for all things AeroPress.

I’m also going to go right ahead and help you pull together all the equipment you’ll need to have the perfect at home coffee setup. My favorite place to pick up any and all coffee equipment I need is Prima Coffee, a company out of Louisville who have literally everything you could possibly need.

It is always really important to me to support speciality business like Prima Coffee, which are super threatened by Amazon and sites like it. I know a lot of people run right to Amazon out of habit, and also because they sometimes have the best prices. But guess what?

Prima Coffee has a price match guarantee on all their products.

Sorry, maybe you didn’t hear me. Once more for the folks in the back: PRIMA COFFEE HAS A PRICE MATCH GUARANTEE ON ALL THEIR PRODUCTS YA’LL!

That means if you find something cheaper on Amazon (or anywhere else), all you have to do is let Prima Coffee know and they’ll beat that price by 1%!

I know what you’re thinking: “Rachel, does this mean that I get to take advantage of prices that don’t hurt my bank account, while also withholding my financial support of a company that treats its workers like garbage, and works with ICE to help deport people???” Yes! Yes it does!!!!

So help me help you, and together we can slow Jeff Bezos from his world takeover. There is literally no reason not to support these awesome coffee enthusiasts!

Ready to learn how to make AeroPress coffee? Let’s go!

how to make aeropress coffee

What stuff do I need to make AeroPress coffee?

Just as I discussed in my article about How to Make Chemex Coffee, it’s at this point that people start to have conflicting opinions.

If you asked the most extra of coffee drinkers how to make Aeropress coffee, they would tell you that ideally, you would use the following:

But do I really need all of that?

Not entirely! Read on to find out which pieces are absolutely necessities and which are more of a nice-to-have when learning how to make AeroPress coffee.

AeroPress

I mean, obviously, if you want to know how to make Aeropress coffee, you gotta have the Aeropress. Straight out of the box, the AeroPress comes with most of what you need to make the perfect cup of coffee right off the bat.

Included with the chamber and plunger (the two main parts of the AeroPress) are:

  • 350 microfilters and a plastic stand for storing them
  • A paddle for stirring the coffee grounds (more on that later)
  • A coffee scoop
  • A funnel

Retailing for just $29.95, the AeroPress is such an affordable coffee-making investment – especially because it should last you a really long time, being plastic and all!

AeroPress filters

The AeroPress comes with about a six months’ supply of tiny circular paper filters. When you need to refill, the replacement pack costs almost nothing.

If you’re into zero waste living, a brand called Able makes both the DISK and DISK-FINE reusable filters.

I’ve never used reusable Aeropress filters, but I find that, in general, metal coffee filters aren’t so amazing at keeping the finest pieces of coffee grounds out of your finished product. But, the DISK-FINE is specifically designed to combat this problem, so they may be an exception to the rule!

But anyway, it’s good to know that even the paper filters are compostable, so in the grand scheme of things, we’re still staying pretty sustainable, no matter which filter you go with.

Burr grinder

Ok, ok, ok. I know we’re getting into scary territory here.

In terms of grinding your coffee beans, I will be upfront and say that it’s not something we’ve always done and it’s not entirely necessary. In fact, it wasn’t even from a place of deep desire to have freshly ground coffee that we started doing it… a friend brought us whole beans from my old shop back in New York when she visited at Christmas one year and we had literally no way to drink them other than buying a grinder.

What I will say is that once we started grinding our beans at home, the difference was immediately noticeable. I don’t think we will ever go back to buying pre-ground beans again. There’s something much brighter and more layered about freshly ground beans. Trust me, if you’re learning how to make AeroPress coffee and looking for the best results, you want to grind. 

There are several different types of grinders out there—the main ones being blade, burr, and conical burr. Blade grinders are cheapest but aren’t able to grind beans as uniformly, meaning you’ll end up with some super fine grounds and some larger chunks. This isn’t the end of the world, but it also means you won’t be extracting flavor from the grounds in the most consistent way. On the other end of the spectrum, most cafés use a conical burr grinder. Daniel really wanted one because he usually doesn’t know how to not be extra, but we settled on a nice burr grinder that cost us about £45.

Here are a couple options at different price points that would work well for beginners wanting to know how to make AeroPress coffee who do want the freshest possible coffee grounds:

Entry-level:
Hario Skerton Plus Hand Grinder
A hand grinder will be more than enough if you’re just starting out, especially if you’re only making coffee for one. Plus this guy actually has conical burrs! Also great for traveling.
Your first investment:
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder
This one is mid-range, meaning it’s compact, adjustable in terms of grind coarseness, and powerful.
If you aren’t ready to grind your own beans yet…

That’s perfectly fine! No judgement here. I’ve even put together a couple recommendations for how to make AeroPress coffee shine anyway.

If you can, get your beans from a local cafe that either sells beans it roasts itself, or beans roasted nearby. In this case, they’ll be able to grind the beans as you’re purchasing them, and you can specify that you’d like them ground for an AeroPress.

At least having your beans ground when you buy is better than purchasing them from the grocery store where they may have been ground weeks ago. Remember! The coffee begins losing flavor immediately upon being ground.

Kettle

I mean. I won’t lie to you: a kettle is a kettle is a kettle.

Let’s put it this way, a fancy goose neck kettle would look super cool on the counter and I would be thrilled if someone gave one to me, but I’m not adding it to my shopping cart anytime soon. Whatever kettle you have will work perfectly.

But on that note, to all my Americans in the room: for the love of God please get yourself a kettle. That is absolutely non-negotiable, and look, I even found this cool gooseneck one so you have no excuses anymore.

Scale

Look… can you guesstimate? Yes. Will your coffee come out great? Maybe some days! But certainly not all days.

Do yourself a favor and invest in a scale. The cost is minimal and you can use them for everything—especially baking.

I’d say the three pieces of must have equipment for making AeroPress coffee are: an AeroPress, some kind of kettle, and a scale.

how to make aeropress coffee

How to make AeroPress coffee

Step 1: Boil water & grind beans

Once you get that kettle going, it’s time to grind your beans (if you’re doing that step). The AeroPress wants a medium-fine grind – finer than sugar but definitely not the finest your grinder can go.

You’ll want about 15-20g of coffee grounds per coffee drinker (we usually use around 30g for our two cups – which is about the max of what a single AeroPress can handle in one go). The best way in my opinion to get the right amount of coffee is to use the scale before you grind the beans, and measure out the right amount, then put that amount into an empty grinder. So basically you only grind what you need right then. Alternatively, if you aren’t grinding, just measure out the already ground coffee to the amount you want.

Step 2: Set up

The first thing you need to do is put your filter into the filter cap, the porous plastic thing at the end of the chamber (i.e. the main tube part of the AeroPress). In fact, we generally use two filters, to make sure we get the purest extraction possible. That is entirely up to personal preference though.

Run the filter cap with filter(s) under hot water just long enough to saturate them, this will remove any amount of paper-y taste from your finished coffee.

Then, screw the filter cap back onto the chamber, and set it over your mug. Make sure both the mug, and now the filter + chamber are sitting on the scale. Zero out the scale now.

Next, you’ll put in the 15-20g of ground coffee – I recommend you use the funnel included with your AeroPress, if you’re as prone to kitchen mess as Daniel is.

Now, it’s just a matter of waiting for your water to finally boil. The experts will tell you to wait until the temperature has come down a few degrees from boiling, but we’ve never bothered to wait and we’re always happy with our end result.

Step 3: Brew your coffee

Ok, now it’s time to start brewing. Open the timer app on your phone and use the stopwatch feature.

Whichever of the two following methods you choose, start that timer as soon as you start pouring. When it’s all said and done, your coffee needs to brew for about 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Also, zero out your scale one more time before you pour! We want about 15ml of water per gram of coffee grounds (worth noting that 1ml of water is equal to 1g of water). So, to help those of you are mathematically challenged: that’ll be 225g of water for 15g of coffee, 240g of water for 16g of coffee, and so on.

So now that you know what you’re aiming for, make that first pour. You’ll see your coffee start to bloom. Now, “blooming” your grounds is entirely optional, but I like to do it! You want to pour in just enough water to saturate the coffee grounds, and wait for about 20-30 seconds. This allows the grounds to release carbon dioxide so that it doesn’t infuse into your coffee.

Once that’s done, pour in the rest of your water (up to the amount you determined above). Whether you’ve bloomed the grounds or not, you want to give a gentle stir to everything to ensure that all the grounds are nice and wet.

You can either stop here, or, one final step is to immediately cover the steeping coffee with the plunger – without pushing it down. Doing this while the coffee brews will achieve a few things.

For one, it will help your coffee retain heat. But more importantly, the vacuum seal it creates will keep all that brewing coffee inside the AeroPress chamber, without starting to drip through the filter.

Again, with so many small variations on technique here, it’s really up to you and your preferences exactly how you do this step. This is what I mean’t when I said there is no exact rulebook for how to make Aeropress coffee. Try out all the different options every day and see what works best for you!

Step 4: Press!

The grand finale! After your 2 minutes and 30 seconds are up, it’s time to press all that coffee out of the AeroPress and into your mug. You’ll want to make sure you’ve removed it from the scale before beginning this step.

Start pressing slowing (there will be resistance), and it should take about another 30 seconds for all of the coffee to be expelled from the chamber.

The key to this step is listening for a loud hiss.

That hiss means you’re done. In an ideal world, you’ll eventually get a feel for your AeroPress and actually stop pressing just before that hiss occurs.

As you’re getting the hang of things though, stop the moment you hear it! Any more pressure, and your coffee will be bitter, which is not desirable. Take it from someone who’s been there.

Step 5: How do you take your coffee?

Now it’s up to you.

If you want something akin to espresso, all you have to do is add milk… if you have a steamer, you can even make a latte!

If you’re more into American-style drip coffee, just top up the mug with more water from the kettle. This will dilute the “espresso” almost like an Americano.

Et voilà! Now you know how to make AeroPress coffee.

No matter how you drink it, it’s now time to enjoy!

how to make aeropress coffee

So, have I sold you on how to make AeroPress coffee?

Or maybe you’re a bit overwhelmed and feeling like you want to just get a Nespresso. Tempting, but horrible for the environment! And a shit cup of coffee! Don’t do that!!! I promise you, scout’s honor, that the AeroPress is stupid easy, and tastes way better than most at-home options.

No matter how you make your coffee, I really hope you’ll check out Prima Coffee. As I mentioned, it’s wonderful to be able to support businesses other than Amazon when we can, so I hope you give them a try.

Anyway, all this talk of coffee has me, well, wanting coffee. So I’m going to go handle that. See you in the next one!

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Comments9

  1. Very informative post. My boyfriend is Obsessed with coffee he just bought a very very expensive machine and grinder. So will definitely save this post. Love the layout of your website and stunning photos. Love a nice caramel latte me lol xxx
    Xtineloves.co.uk

    1. Oh your boyfriend will absolutely love the aeropress then! Nothing better than quality coffee tools in my opinion 🙂

  2. I love love coffee.
    hearing about the AeroPress coffee for the first time.
    yet, I am sure that it’ll be delicious.
    can’t wait to try this new one.
    thank you very much for sharing!

  3. I’ve never heard about this before, but it sounds like a good idea for a birthday present for a coffee addict I know:)) You’ve sort it out for me, thanks!

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